Whether it’s in their capacity as label curators or as artists in their own right, we’re big fans of Blu Mar Ten here at DNB Dojo. In a time when so much music, drum & bass included, is a packaged commodity designed to appeal to a very specific marketplace and lacking or devoid of originality, BMT stand as a beacon of the creativity and inspiration that makes the best music so exciting. If you subscribe to the adage that 99% of everything is rubbish, then these guys are the 1% of the 1%.
Enter Empire State, the team’s seventh studio album and their fourth for their own Blu Mar Ten Music imprint. Picking up pretty much exactly where Famous Lost Words left off, the album plays like a love letter to all the facets of D&B, focusing on the deeper and more melodic side of the music but with some unashamed dancefloor rollers thrown into the mix. More experimental tracks like Monologue and Fall From Grace dial back the beats, allowing Blu Mar Ten’s knack for shimmering synth work to shine through, while straight up rollers such as Immortal Beloved provide that uptempo euphoria the duo do so well.
Robert Manos makes a welcome appearance on the effortlessly crispy Keep It Together, while the rest of the album’s vocal-led tracks feature the enigmatic strains of Kite, a female vocalist that we can literally find nothing about anywhere. The pair clearly have a talent for spotting gifted singers; as with Agnė Genytė’s contributions to their previous LP, Kite lends raw emotion and a less obvious style of delivery to the vocals here, and the album sounds fantastic for her presence.
Empire State probably won’t convince the naysayers of the merits of the more melodic end of D&B, nor is it packed full of cutting-edge, genre-bending or trend-setting material. If however you want an album featuring some of the most finely crafted D&B and a ton of depth and feeling, Blu Mar Ten deliver in spades. As always. Check out the previews below and hit up the BMT Store to grab a copy on vinyl or digital now.
Seba’s remix of Overwhelm remains one of my all time favourite Blu Mar Ten releases. Taking the lush pads and beautiful melodies of the original but switching up the drums for a faster and more dancefloor friendly rework, this is a beautiful, elegant remix which pulls me in time and time again. Deep, lush, wonderful!
Secret Operations returns and this time Seba has recruited John B and Blu Mar Ten for remix duties on tracks from 2013’s Identity LP. The former turns in a big bouncy dancefloor relick of Nothing Can Replace. Gone are the slightly 80s sounding synths of the original in favour of warm bass stabs and a pretty infectious hook.
Blu Mar Ten opt for a less drastic shift of tone for Too Much Too Soon, turning in a trademark deep liquid roller that captures the essence of the original (mainly thanks to the unusual vocals) while switching up the melodies enough to make it their own. Check out the clips below and look out for this one dropping on vinyl and digital very soon!
The latest release from Med School comes from Ukrainian producer Sunchase, who dishes up a fantastic 6-track EP blending deep D&B with chilled out, melodic electronica. Standout moments come on the rolling, minimal and at times glitchy Electrosoul System collaboration Thing, the serene yet techy Kolo with Blu Mar Ten and the spacey, autonomic-esque vibes of Slowly.
The release is up for pre-order at the Hospital Shop and will be dropping on marbled vinyl and digital formats from Feb 23rd, so check out the clips and get your order in!
Following our run down of our favourite albums of the year, we felt it was only right to put the spotlight on our top tracks. These are the ten tunes that haven’t left our record box since their release…
Blu Mar Ten close out their Famous Lost Words remix project with a remix from the legendary Future Sound of London. The release is coming out on a single sided 10″ vinyl (with free digital copies) and the only place you can buy it is from the Blu Mar Ten store. With pressing limited to 300 and only 94 left at time of writing, you better be quick if you want this one! Check out the teaser clip (or this longer one on Facebook) and look out for this shipping sometime in December.
Update: FSOL’s rather beautiful remix of Night Shift is out now at all good stores. The 10″ vinyl is entirely sold out so bad luck if you slept on that one, but the digital is still available via the Blu Mar Ten store (and should be available elsewhere too). Check out the Soundcloud clip below and get buying!
Blu Mar Ten unveil the third and final instalment of their Famous Lost Words remix EP series with new mixes from Ulterior Motive, Nuage and their latest signing Kimyan Law. Ulterior Motive make In Your Eyes very much their own, swapping out the frantic amens of the original for a slower paced half-time beat. The twinkling atmosphere of the original is largely gone too, replaced with ominous bass growls and a spooky, pitched down version of the original vocal.
Nuage turns his hand to Famous Lost Words, channelling the autonomic spirit for a glitchy, slouching remix with tons of the lush pad work I’ve come to love on his productions. The real star of the show here though is Kimyan Law’s absolutely beautiful re-imagining of Half The Sky. An insistent beat combines with a soft chiming melody that has either been crafted fresh or has been re-sampled from the original beyond recognition, and the atmosphere of the track is dialled right up to 11. The result is effortlessly emotive and hauntingly beautiful, and I can’t wait to hear his debut album when it drops later this year.
Check out the clips below and head over to the Blu Mar Ten Music store to pick up the release on vinyl or digital now.
Blu Mar Ten unveil the second set of remixes from last year’s Famous Lost Words LP with reworks from Kid Drama, Anile and the winner of the remix competition, Conduct. Kid Drama brings his autonomic-esque stylings to Thin Air, retaining the lush melodies of the original but switching up the drums from their previous liquid roll and rearranging the parts to make the song his own.
Anile meanwhile performs the reverse switch, replacing the unusual rhythms of Remembered Her Wrong with a rolling liquid break, but retaining the melancholy vibe and atmosphere of the original nicely. Last but not least, Conduct turns in an absolutely serene mix of Hunter, stripping back most of the elements to leave a lean combination of piano, drums and weighty sub bass. Check out the clips below and grab this one on vinyl or digital from the Blu Mar Ten store now!
The first of the Famous Lost Words remix releases touches down with fresh reworks from Break and Frederic Robinson. Break’s name often comes up in discussions of “the best drums in D&B”, and his take on Break It All Apart is a great example of his gift for crisp, punchy breaks. Keeping the soulful vocal and melodies of the original but bolstering them with insistent drums and some tasty filtered bass growls, this is a lovely balance of dancefloor sensibilities and musical beauty.
Frederic Robinson meanwhile applies his unique stylings to Somewhere, dropping the energy for a Bonobo-esque downtempo rework. Shuffling beats, synth swells and Frederic’s gift for soft melody combine as he makes the work his own, and the results are pretty breathtaking. The child-like innocence often heard in his music shines through here, and the vibe is irresistible. More Frederic Robinson releases please Blu Mar Ten!
The remixes will be available on vinyl and digital from Blu Mar Ten’s store and all the usual outlets. Check out the clips below and grab your copy from August 4th.
Two years on from the release of the stellar Love Is The Devil, Blu Mar Ten return with their 6th studio album. As we’ve come to expect from the enigmatic trio, the LP is packed from start to finish with soulful, musical D&B and some excellent collaborations.
Seba hops in to the studio to co-produce Hunter, lending some of his trademark epic synthesis to the mix, while Agné Genyté both opens and closes the record on the deep, jazzy Somewhere and the insistent, jungle-infused In Your Eyes. It’s Robert Manos however who completely steals the show on the beautiful, effortless Thin Air.
Elsewhere on the LP we’re treated to some precise, technical D&B on darker tracks like Big Shots and Holding Pattern while Remembered Her Wrong and Night Shift head for more experimental territory. Overall Famous is another exceptional album from a production outfit who continue to excel after more than a decade in the game.
Check out a preview of the LP below and watch out for the album dropping from November 18th.